I’m Skip from the Luxury Flight Club. Here to help you find cheap business flights (we may see lower prices in the upcoming years). AMA!
TL;DR I search for cheap-premium-airfares on a daily basis. And I think anyone can fly business class for a reasonable price. Airlines have great sales and sometimes they make mistakes. We may even see cheaper fares in the upcoming years because of the slow recovery of business travel.
Disclaimer: It might not be the best time to fly right now because of obvious reasons. But more and more people are getting vaccinated and good deals for late ‘21 and next year are starting to pop up.
I’m Skip from the Luxury Flight Club and I like to help people find cheap business class flights.
In different subreddits, I've seen a lot of questions about how you can fly business for cheap. And I thought maybe I can help you with finding some low-priced premium fares. Because in the last 14+ months of daily premium fare searching, I learned that *it is* possible to fly in a lie-flat seat for a reasonable price
Airlines have sales where you can grab a business class seat for 1,5 - 2 x the price of economy. Sometimes they make a mistake and you can fly in a lie-flat seat for the same price as economy. And I think we can expect more of this in the upcoming years.
Why business class may become cheaper
Leisure travel is very slowly picking up again, but business travel might take a while. A lot of businesses learned that they can function great with the help of Zoom and remote workers. They don’t need to put their employees continually on planes.
The world’s largest business travel association isn’t expecting a full recovery before 2025 (if at all). link to report
In the short term, this may result in cheaper business class fares. This is because still, a large part of the plane has business class seats installed. And an airline needs to fill as many seats as possible for the flight to remain profitable.
In the longer term, this may result in a Ryanair-like approach to business class. Where the fare only includes a lie-flat seat. And everything else costs extra. For example meals, amenities, baggage, lounge access. This is what Zipair is doing. as shown in this YT video
Emirates & Qatar already stripped lounge access from their basic business class fares.
Why I started searching for cheap premium fares
I always loved flying as a kid. But as I got taller, flying got less fun. During my last flight (10h+ in economy), I couldn’t stop thinking about how it would be in one of those fancy lie-flat seats. And as a Dutchman, I wouldn’t like to pay the full fare.
So I started searching for cheap business class fares. I wasn’t planning any trips at the moment, but I started sharing those deals on forums and people seem to book it. It was great to help others save money on premium seats.
How it’s going now
Since then, I started to look for deals on a daily basis. It’s awesome to start your day with a little treasure hunt!
Inspired by Scott (from Scott Cheap Flights) I started an email list and it grew to 1,800+ members. I also post the deals on the website with affiliate links. This is to cover the costs to run everything.
A few business class roundtrip examples from the past:
London - Sao Paulo for £519
Budapest - Santiago de Chile for €476
Frankfurt - Tokyo (non-stop) for €649
Athens - Kuala Lumpur €816 (this one is bookable right now for JAN/FEB '22) search link
Boston - the Azores for $610
New York - Madrid for $798
I didn’t have the opportunity to fly these deals yet (damn you Covid). But I think the prices of a lie-flat seat might even get cheaper. Ask me anything!
Link to the Luxury Flight Club
Link to a Daily Express article where I share some tips
UPDATE: I completely understand that there are a lot of comments about self-promotion. Especially because there are quite a few flight searchers who have done an AMA similar to this one in the past.
But I also think not many people know that flying business class isn’t exclusively for the elite, so I thought I could help a few Redditors with this AMA.
PS I bought the www.luxuryFIGHTclub.com domain and I’m open to suggestions on how we can turn this into something cool. But don’t talk about this with others!
UPDATE 2: Thanks for all the great questions and support. I hope this is helpful for some of you guys. It's been 5+ hours, I'm taking a short break to eat something. I will get back to answer some more!
UPDATE 3: I'm back for another 2 hours :)
UPDATE 4: Okay guys, it's been 8 hours and I'm calling it a day. Thanks to all who joined today and I hope to see you in the skies soon!
I don't say there isn't a Luxury Fight Club. But I also can't say there is ;)
I bought the www.luxuryFIGHTclub.com domain and I’m open to suggestions on how we can turn this into something cool. But don’t talk about this with others!
I bought the www.luxuryFIGHTclub.com domain and I’m open to suggestions on how we can turn this into something cool.
I want to see chickens in tuxedos fighting ducks in suits
I like this.
I think you have your April Fool's Day campaign to plan. Hope you know Photoshop!
I also really like this. I'm a noob with Photoshop tho.
Hi Skip, how much does blatant advertising on r/IAmA cost?
I completely understand that this can come across as blatant advertising. I really tried to give as much value as I can and didn't put the link to my website at the top of the post.
I did pay the $10 fee to schedule an AMA. They ask for this to cover the costs to maintain the website: https://askmeanythi.ng/
Your willingness to answer this is a bit refreshing. Usually these questions get voted to the top but go unanswered.
That's because I do get why people are flagging this as sheer self-promoting. There have been a lot of flight searchers doing an AMA on Reddit.
But I think this could be of help for people who think flying business is only for the elite. You really can fly premium for a reasonable price.
Was anything else paid also?
Nope, that's it.
Other cheap flight spammers mostly cover economy flights. I focus on cheap business class flights and occasionally first class.
I really am not lying. I haven't come across newsletters that only cover business class deals. Please do share a link so I can look into this!
Airline sales often last for days. Sometimes for weeks.
Error fares tend to last about ~2h.
Right from the title of the post you should be anticipating an ad. It's not a click bait title trying to trick you into reading an ad. It's clear as day what this is.
This guy is out here hustling and promoting a business that helps every day workers try a premium service that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to. Im hoping to go on a nice vacation once this covid mess is over and completely forgot this type of service existed. I'm glad he made this post. I found that idea interesting and I wanted to learn a bit more. So I clicked the post.
If reading an ad upset you so much you felt the need to bitch and complain about it in the comments then you shouldn't of clicked. You're not even making an argument or trying to start a conversion. You just clicked something you knew was an ad to complain about it being an ad. Give your head a shake
Now that my little rant is over I do have a question: Is there a region you specialize in (i.e. within europe) or are you constantly looking all over the place?
Also thanks for the post. I found this interesting, informative and it's motivating me to start thinking about my next adventure
Thanks for this. However, I do get why they're thinking this is kind of an add. But I really think it could help others.
I mostly cover flights departing from Europe and North America. But I do like to search for cheap flights departing from random destinations for sheer fun. For example, you can fly Emirates first class (which gives you access to a shower — on a plane!) for €700 roundtrip.
It is a short ~3h flight, but I think this could be an amazing experience.
So, use the various flight fare search engines to look for fares... that’s the long and short of it, yeah?
And if you're looking for a good fare you can set up price alerts with Google Flights & Skyscanner. This is basically it.
It also helps if you know the routes that are on sale often. For instance, some fares don't appear in the Google Flights Explorer because you can only set travel dates 6 months ahead. Sometimes the cheap fares only possible later.
There are some good other resources for cheap premium fares. Like the FlyerTalk forum where a lot of frequent flyers share deals they find.
Why should I trust a website that uses google amp for mobile pages that limits the usability of their website? Hamburger menu doesn’t work among other things.
I made the website myself, and I'm definitely not a pro. It can definitely be improved (it's never done improving).
The hamburger menu seems to work for me, but I will look at both things to make it better.
Thanks for your feedback!
Hi, good job on the website.
I'm guessing you use an iPhone?
When you load the website as an amp page the burger menu doesn't work. https://luxuryflightclub.com/?amp
I can't debug why it wouldn't be working, however, might be worth looking at using an on:tab event with amp state, then apply a class to the burger menu based on amp state.
I use an Android.
I noted this and I appreciate you looking into this!
Will do some research and try to fix this :)
Hey Skip! I don't think you deserve the shit from people on here. I've experienced it myself when trying to promote a podcast before, was brutal so just ignore the haters.
Any advice on flying out of Paris to SF? I keep trying to find business flights but they're just so damn expensive. I like Scott's Cheap Flights, but have always wanted something more after flying business with Qatar on my honeymoon last year. I can't go back, I won't go back! Thanks!
Thanks! I do get their comments tho.
If you're looking for good fares on that specific route, I would set up some price alerts on Google Flights & Skyscanner.
And if you're a bit more flexible, you can join the email list for deals departing from Europe: link here
I don't know when you want to travel, but ~ €1k fares do come up quite reguarly.
Are you aware that Reddit loves SpongeBob? And that SpongeBob taught us to never trust a Flying Dutchman?
Wow. I have never really thought about the fact that I'm actually a Flying Dutch while on a plane.
I'm happy to share with you that I'm currently on the ground. But, who am I to trust?
Does time of day make a difference when picking a cheap flight Ie the 2.30am flight is cheaper than the 9am flight as its classed as unsociable hours?
Or is it just pot luck when booking a flight that you may get cheaper rates?
Very good question!
It does not matter for regular airline sales. Those will last a few days most of the time.
However, it does matter for error fares. When a fare gets an unusual amount of bookings, the airline gets notice and they cancel the fare.
So the faster you notice the fare, the bigger the chance that it hasn't been picked up by 'the big websites'.
Why did your parents name you Skip? Or is it a nickname
I like to think I was named after Scipio Africanus. The great Roman general who defeated Hannibal.
But my parents told me they just liked the name.
Is this gonna be just like every other flight fare service where 99% of deals are based in America?
Actually, most flight deals are departing from Europe. I also cover deals departing from North America. But they are much rarer.
I would really like to expend to other continents if there's enough demand. But at the moment I think I should focus on these regions. I think I can still improve these deals.
So, use the various flight fare search engines to look for fares... that’s the long and short of it, yeah?
These are definitely the most important tools I use. Also, get up early! The best (error) fares disappear when it gets booked a lot. I try to wake up every day around 06:00 AM so everyone on the email list is the first to know.
I enjoy your newlsetter Skip and don't think you deserve the bashing that's going on here.
My question is what are the main tools you use to search these flights and how do you use them?
I spend a lot of time on google flights -> explore destinations, but I feel frustrated it only allows to search with flexible dates in the next 6 months and not 7-12 months forward.
I am also wondering if there's some magic trick with expertflyer to search by fare class and then figure out availability of that fare class.
I'm really happy to hear that you enjoy the newsletter!
The tools I use are mostly to make researching the deals more convenient. I like to use Matrix Power Tools, Where to Credit, Seat Guru and Flight Fare Compare (by Jack's Flight Club).
For flight searching, Google Flights Explorer and Skyscanner is 90% of where I get my deals from. With some time, you get the feeling of which routes are often on sale. Then, you can check those routes for later travel dates on a more regular basis.
You can also set up to 5 departing airports in the Google Flights Explorer and bookmark the search for later use. This will safe some time if use these searches often.
I'm not an expert on using ExpertFlyer. So I can't tell you any ticks on that.
I wasn't aware if Matrix Power Tools and Flight Fare Compare. Good suggestions
Both are very handy Chrome extensions :)
I know they say that you should search for flights and hotels in incognito mode, to avoid cookies saving your search and adding a premium to it. In your experience, is that needed? I have never noticed a huge difference.
Nope, this doesn't work in my experience. Get up early so you'll be the first to spot a good error fare helps the most.
why are you blatantly advertising on here?
Because I have seen a lot of questions about how to fly cheap in business class, I thought I maybe could help some Redditors.
I really tried to don't make it all about the Luxury Flight Club.
I really do get why you're asking this. It does look similar to the AMA's others have done.
But I do think a lot of people don't know that you can fly business class for a reasonable price. And I also really do think we can expect cheaper fares in the upcoming months/years.
I did have some doubts about doing this AMA. And I don't want to come across like some guy who is just self-promoting. But I think it was worth sharing.
isn't the first rule of flight club "dont talk about flight club"?
That's the first rule of the Luxury Fight Club. For this flight club, I think I'm not breaking any rules :)
What is the cheapest flight you ever booked?
And another one is it true that if you clear your browser history or go incognito an airline might offer a lower price?
In my experience, clearing your browser history or going incognito doesn't work for premium fares.
Well, I only started to look for these premium airfares just before Covid. So I skipped (pun intended) a lot of awesome fares.
I did book the new BA club suite to Miami for €900 (not the best fare but it was perfect for a trip with my dad and little brother). But it got cancelled last week.
Hi Skip, gonna ask you for a personal request. I don't know if you will answer. Any tips or deals for going from NYC to Seoul in late June? Thanks!
This is an expensive route in business class. You won't often find it for < $2k roundtrip.
I would set price alerts with Google Flights & Skyscanner. As an addition, you could also set alerts for airports near NYC and Seoul.
Why does it seem to be much harder to find business class deals originating from USA than from Europe? I'm a fellow tall dude and I love visiting Japan, but when I'm in Europe I can do it much more easily than from US. Also, most US business class deals seem to be to Europe.
I guess my actual question is: as a tall dude who hates flying economy, how can I comfortably travel to Asia from USA?
You're right. We Europeans see much lower business class fares than Americans. This is because there are more airlines operating flights out of Europe (more competition). They do exist — but they are much rarer.
I try to search for those fares on a daily basis, but anything < $2k is generally a good deal.
You can signup for deal alerts departing from North America here if you'd like.
What are your thoughts on Hopper?
I haven't used it so I can't really say much about it. But it seems like an airfare tracker right?
It's great you like it, that's why I started the email list!
The affiliated links barely cover the costs of hosting the website and email tools. I don't think I will be hiring anytime soon.
Do you have to subscribe and pay money for this service? Also, what’s the cheapest flight from the US to Greece? The cheapest I ever find is $1000 and I feel like there has to be more affordable quality flights out there.
The email list is completely free, I do have affiliate links on my website tho.
I only look for cheap business class flights on a daily basis, you could sign up for Scott's Cheap Flights who covers economy deals departing from the US. link
Can I see your search history? XD
I can't share my search history for more private reasons.
I thought the first rule of flight club was that you didn't speak about it?
This would have been the case for the Luxury Flight Club.
You can speak about the Luxury Flight Club tho.
How many of these deals do you harvest from flyertalk flight deals??
About 5% I think.
I always try to give credit to the one who found it in the deal post tho.
I feel like being Skip is a way of life. We’re you born Skip or did you become Skip?
I was born to be Skip
Hi Skip, big fan of the newsletter even if I've not managed to snag one of the flights you've posted yet.
Which is your favourite airline for Premium Cabins?
Ever met any high profile people or celebrities during a flight?
I'm very happy to hear you like it :)
It's been years since I have flown in a premium cabin, and the cabins changed since then. I wanted to fly a couple of deals last year but I couldn't really because of Covid.
United Airlines always was my go-to airline. But the Qatar Qsuite & ANA's business class are on the top of my list right now!
I've never met any celebrities anywhere, but I would really like to meet Elon Musk one day and talk about installing lie-flat seats in the Starship.
Last year just before lockdown I had one of my bucket list flights using my Virgin miles. I'd never been in a premium cabin before, but saved up enough points to do ANA First class London to Tokyo. So even though 2020 was a rough year, at least I have that experience as a treasured memory!
The seat has an enormous cinema screen. It's definitely on my bucket list as well.
any flights that start from Vietnam?
I mainly cover flights that depart from Europe & North America. The best flight at the moment I could find is a roundtrip to Tokyo for $1,115 in ANA's business class
I usually don't search for deals departing from Vietnam. The best I could find at the moment is a roundtrip flight in ANA's business class to Tokyo for ~$1,100.
Austria/Europe -> Taiwan and back. How do i do this best? prices seem to bee 400-500 each way no matter what. Don't mind a stop in HK.
I'm assuming you're searching for an economy flight.
The best I could find at the moment is roundtrip from Vienna to Tapei for ~€600 Search Link
If you want to fly business, I have seen sales from time to time for ~€1,100 roundtrip. But you could set up some flight alerts with Skyscanner & Google Flights if you're specifically looking for deals on this route.
What about some difficult routes (I'm looking for SCL → BCN, either direct or via MAD), but that route is covered only by LA and IB, and they never seem to budge on pricing. Am I screwed?
I like the challenge, but I can't find anything good at the moment.
While I don't search for deals out of South America, I have seen many deals the other way around.
LA & IB are normally very generous with their sales!
I'm planning a vacation to Australia for a month to see my datemate and I also have anxiety. When is the best time to start searching and booking flights? I know one of their airlines is looking to start international flights again late October!
As soon as you know your travel dates!
Australia is usually a pretty expensive route. Departing from Europe we saw a fare for ~€1k last year.
If you're only looking for deals on this specific route, I would definitely set up some price alerts with Skyscanner & Google Flights.
Heading to Italy next year 2022, fall... I looked at first class rt from PDX to Rome and it's about $3500 per person, on average. Are discount options possible, even in 1st class?
There will definitely be some good opportunities for next year. But I can't predict the exact time when those fares will pop-up.
You can join the newsletter for deal alerts from North America here.
Also, you can set up some price alerts on Skyscanner & Google Flights.
Do you have a website where you take us straight to deals/mistakes? That'd be great a tool!
Yes, I post everything on the website as well. I think all deals should be available for everyone.
But directly after I publicise the deal on the website, I send the email alert out to everyone who's on the list
Best flights from Chicago right now?
Chicago - Madrid in Aeromexico business class for $1,353 roundtrip Search Link
What is the first rule of Luxury Flight Club?
Do share great deals with your friends.
Don't call the airline
This might be a better first rule!
For the majority of their existence, the airline industry has not been profitable. There are rumors that they could be re-regulated by the federal government. Is this a good thing for consumers?
Very good question!
I don't think this would be a good thing. This would mean that there will be less competition, which will probably result in higher fares.
I checked your website and it appears all flights depart from Europe. Do you plan on expanding to departing flights from North America?
I do cover some flights departing from North America (about ~2 per week). However, at the moment, my main focus are flight deals ex Europe.
I'm not experienced enough with flight searching departing from North America to post more deals. But I'm trying to improve this and get better.
My last big job search was about two years ago. Landed several interviews out of state, but they all wanted in-person and I would get radio silence on most when I asked about reimbursing flights. Usually about week or less lead time, and I kind of prefer first class due to extra leg room, so ended up spend $1,000 or so on cross-ish country flights multiple times over a couple of months. Given the time constraints, would this service have helped get those costs lower? At the time I was based in Pennsylvania and interviewing in Las Vegas, Seattle, Houston, Tampa, Atlanta and Mississippi; almost all out of pocket and every flight had at least one layover.
So if I understand it correctly, most of your flights were close to your booking date?
If that's the case, I don't think so. Last minute flights aren't often on sale.
What’s your favorite animal?
Flamingos, hence the username.
It depends on the airline.
Turkish Airlines was known for its superior catering in business class. But they brutally stripped that from their service.
The Arabian airlines have mostly resumed full service again.
The first time I saw one of these on here it was kind of like "Oh, a flight tracker like that other one I heard about a few years ago, but this guy started his own. That's kind of cool I guess."
The next few times I saw it pop up on here it seemed kind of Dejavu where they were saying pretty much the exact same thing as the previous ones.
I think what annoys people is there is very little new being added to the conversation. AMA's are nearly always advertising of some sort these days, but flight trackers AMA's are even less informative than most of the other schilling. At least with the celebrity ones they may be pushing a book or new movie, but we still might get a few fun stories and personal connections about it.
It's not that OP is a bad person, it's that we've all seen the same ad over and over again by different companies all trying to half-heartedly pass it off as some sort of fun Q&A when it's really just an ad.
OP ends up getting flack for all the pent-up frustration people have at seeing AMAs being used often solely as marketing while barely giving even a knod to the ask anything part.
So, in the interest of making this a bit more fun let's actually ask questions:
What's the wildest sexual experience you've had while traveling?
What is the most memorable alcoholic drink you've had while traveling? Best or worst, either way.
If you could bring any historical figure on a trip with you, who would you pick and where would you go?
Yes, I completely understand that this looks very similar to AMA's done by other flight searchers. I was hoping that this would be a bit different because it's about cheap business class flights. A lot of friends didn't know that you could fly for a reasonable price in a lie-flat seat before I shared those deals with them. So I thought it still was worth sharing on Reddit.
I like the original questions, I'll try to answer them the best I can.
1 This was in Koh Phi Phi (Thailand), we ended up on an abandoned fisherman boat in the light of dawn after a crazy beach party.
2 When I think about it, this might have been at the same party. A large bucket filled with Gin & Tonic. It may also explain how we ended up there.
3 I would bring Marilyn Monroe to Koh Phi Phi and drink large G&T buckets together all night long.
To not spam this post I will post my questions here:
- Do you feel bad about the environmental impact flying has on the climate?
- Do your flights sell as tickets from the carriers or do you promote deals from flight agencies?
- Are you a member of IATA?
- Do you use any airline reservation systems to get better deals or how do you make your money?
1 It doesn't stop me from flying. Planes have gotten less polluting, but I think we need an Elon Musk to completely solve this issue.
2 I search for cheap flights which you can book either directly with the airlines or with an online travel agent.
3 No I don't have an airline :(
4 I don't really make money with the website. But I use affiliate links that cover the costs.
Isn’t this just a rip off of the fly almost free email list?
I think they mostly cover economy class flights. I only search for cheap business/first class.
I haven't come across an email list that does this yet.
Hi Skip! I’ve been hearing about the flights sold out by the time people try to actually book it so no one has snagged it yet. Are there any tips and tricks from you? Thanks!
This has happened to me as well, and the lesson I learned is: BE QUICK.
- Have your booking-information ready (passport numbers etc.)
- Have a couple of destinations in mind you would like to go to. And if a suiting deal appears, don't hesitate.
You could join the newsletter so you will get an alert when I find a good deal. Also, this frequent flyer forum is a good resource for deals (you can subscribe to this thread so you will get notifications).
The best (error) fares are sometimes gone within 2 hours.
I’m flying first class on Alaska air from Chicago, to San Francisco, to Hawaii. Any tips on how to really get the most out of a first class ticket? Unfortunately, the lounges are closed but I think they’ll still have some amenities in flight. It also happens to be my wife and I’s 10 yr anniversary, you think the pilot will give me one of those safety pin wings, i can put on my shirt??
I would send them an email and tell them you and your wife love flying with Alaska Airlines. Mention the anniversary and say you want to surprise her.
Also, bring something nice for the crew, like cookies. This will definitely increase your chances of obtaining a safety pin wing.
Do let us know how it goes!
Do you always limit yourself to business class and higher or are you open to find economy seats as well?
While business class is nice, I was able to fly out to seven different trips this past year for $11 each way. I just came back from Hawaii two weeks ago for $175 round trip. Whilel the premium seats are nice, sometimes you just can't beat the extreme value that economy offers.
That's some insane value you got out of those flights! For short-haul flights, I will probably still fly economy. The price difference doesn't make to much sense for a 2-3h flight.
But I started searching for cheap business class flights after my last long-haul economy flight. And then Covid happened.
So I can't really tell much about the business class experience (my last flights were a long time ago).
But as a tall guy (6'3) I would be happy to pay a few hundred extras for a relaxing long-haul flight.
Hey, I've been looking for someone doing this. Just signed up. I also follow Jacks Flight Club and the deals that he finds are amazing. On your website it says RT next to the price, is that for "Return"?
Have you done many of these flights by yourself, if so which was your last one?
I'm the founder of a Travel patches company. The kind people iron-onto their backpacks and jackets, after they visit a country or city. I'd love to speak to you about advertising on your website, or paying to have a footnote in your emails, or a collaboration.
Yes 'RT' means roundtrip (basically the same). And Jack's Flight Club is an amazing service for economy flight deals!
I started noticing these deals just before Covid. I was supposed to fly the BA club suite to Miami next month, bust last week it got cancelled.
I'm currently not looking for sponsors for the newsletter, maybe in the future. But feel free to send me an email!
Do you have any opinions about the environmental impact of business and first class air travel? As business class travellers take up more space on a plane they can be seen as contributing more per person to the massive carbon emissions of the plane. Many environmental groups suggest only travelling economy for this reason.
Very good question!
And while planes have gotten a lot more fuel-efficient. They still release an enormous amount of carbon emissions.
I think the best thing for the environment would be electric planes. But this appears to be way more difficult than electric cars because of the weight of the batteries.
I've been doing some research on this and there is a startup in Tel Aviv that has pretty far in its development. They are aiming for their first flight this year!
I thought that said Luxury Fight Club and I was like wow... what the F*** is that?
Edit: my first gold, thank you!
Second edit: in which subreddit would it be good to discuss this fabled Luxury Fight Club?
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